I’m participating in the Smurf the Earth event, and what better than to visit Trullo – a neighbourhood in Rome where there are loads of beautiful street art. You have to see them!
This anomaly is especially memorable to me because it was held in my adopted home, conducted at nightfall (hence the “Noir“) and I was the lone scooter team going around the circumference of the playing area.
Thank you to all the organisers for your sacrifices! Thank you to all agents who came to fight for Rome! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Cart and I went to Cologne, Germany over the weekend for the Via Lux Anomaly. I had a very lovely time, and all of the locals that I’ve met there are so jawdroppingly friendly and helpful that it had left such an impression on me.
I do wish that we had more time to experience this amazing city in more depth. And I hope that we visit again!
Cart and I are going to Cologne, Germany in about two weeks time for the Via Lux anomaly and we’re slowly getting ready for it – the plane tickets bought, our Airbnb apartment booked and I’m even thinking of making some stickers to give out.
Aren’t these cute? They are kind of expensive though at 46 euro for 156 pieces considering that they are quite small at 3.8 cm each. But if they turn out well, I might make more.
I’m looking forward to this trip. There are plenty of things to be seen – museums and architectures and I’ve read that there is even a chocolate museum there.
But you know what I’d really want to see? A trip to their supermarkets. Yes, it sounds a little anticlimactic but I’ve always been curious ever since I’ve watched a video documenting how the goods there are cheaper compared to the ones in Italy. So that’ll be something interesting to compare.
I don’t speak German, this will be interesting experience
If I had more time, I’d love to see things at a slower pace. But after my experiences, I have to be pragmatic. That’s the biggest issue with doing an anomaly – you’re so busy trying to orient yourself in a new country, then you move all around the city by foot, your eyes are on the scanner for most of the day and you get so exhausted you just want to faint but when the next day comes, you’d have to rush to do the mission banner and then it’s time to fly back home.
Something better than nothing! Maybe I can take this experience as a recce? And maybe one day I’ll even try to travel alone.
The NL-1331 van arrived in Rome yesterday for their first European tour. If you happen to be in the same area as one, you could get some free swag (normally a card with codes for your Ingress inventory) and you could also purchase the Van badge and kits if you wanted.
These are the swag we got
I would have liked the Van badge, unfortunately it was all sold out two days before the event. Oh well.
The event was held in Eur, near the ‘Square Colosseum’.
Cart and I reached there slightly earlier than the stipulated time but there were already so many people there – both the Resistance and the Enlightened.
I was nice to catch up with some friends, some of which I haven’t met for a long time, like Aldo and Smyx who both transferred out of Rome for work.
Eventually the van drove up. It was so easy to spot out – being all black with large white and silver decals around it. It was smaller than what I thought it would be though.
As I knew that there were going to be loads of people, I took a bit more effort to look nice as I expected that there would be a lot of photo taking.
And I had all the intention to take a lot of photos and selfies with friends – you know how some people take an effort to catch Pokemon? I wanted to try to catch as many agents as I could on my phone.
Unfortunately with a cross faction event, and with the density of the portals here, as soon as I opened my scanner, I was in ‘face deploy’ mode – putting in resonators when the portals are blue or shooting it when green. Boy, do I have a problem! :p
After everything has calmed down a little, was when I noticed that there was a new portal that didn’t exist before :
I’m not sure how long this portal will last but I don’t believe that it will be a permanent one. It took a bit of hacking but at length, I managed to get a key as a souvenir. But looking at the first picture made me glad that I did.
I am very amused.
The latest craze descending on us is Pokemon go.
It’s funny to think that a couple of years ago, Google did an April Fool Joke based on this, but it actually came to fruition to become an profoundly popular game.
This is a game where you channel your inner trainer and use the GPS on your phone to catch as many Pokemons as you can. Once you reach level 5, you could choose a team and train your Pokemons for battle if you like.
Here I am!
As it is created by Niantic Labs, the game is similar to Ingress. Each Pokestop and Gym is always an Ingress Portal. You’ll have to move around to be able to interact with the Pokestops and for the Pokemon to appear.
I’ve been playing the game for a couple of weeks now and while the game can be quite enjoyable, I think it’s just not for me.
I mean there are some benefits, health-wise for example, as you get motivated to walk around to hatch an egg in anticipation of what creature will pop out. And the game is cheerful – I like the colourful interface and there are so many adorable Pokemons to collect.
But once you’ve gone past that, the cons for me outweighs the pros.
It bugs me a lot when I manage to catch a Pokemon and then the screen hangs. Or when the app closes by itself as soon as I start it up. Pokemon makes me rage so much that I’m tempted to throw my phone.
That is if you could start it up at all. I had a lot of server problems when I started playing, but it seems to be easing in at the moment.
2. Sucks up a lot of data and battery
If you think that Ingress uses a lot of data and battery, wait till you start playing Pokemon Go. It’s not uncommon to use up to 200 MB in a day. That’s something annoying I’d have to be careful not to go beyond the limit. My mobile service provider tends to sneakily take credits and I’d only realise when it’s too late.
Personally, I don’t have an issue about running out of juice as I always carry my Anker with me, but I’d have to charge them at the end of the day when I play Pokemon Go instead of every other day.
3. A different culture
There are a lot of children (as well as the young at heart) playing this game, making the dynamics different. There’s a lot of rushing around, a lot of frenzy …
As soon as you see an Esca Module appearing on a pokestop, you’ll see tens of people immediately appearing out of nowhere. Yes, even in Rome. I’m not kidding you. It’s quite scary to see all these people conglomerating around in such a short time.
While Ingress can be quite wild especially when you’re trying to win the check point for your faction, it’s usually done in a more cultured manner. You don’t see agents stampeding into a remote area to capture a portal … we do it more, stealthily.
It’s not safe for playing both Ingress and Pokemon Go while you’re on the driving. It’s not easy to stay focused on the road and still be able to play. Which is why I never play Ingress while I’m driving.
But unlike Ingress when the portals are static, the critters could suddenly pop out. Sometimes you’d feel compelled to throw your Pokeball and that’s when you stop being aware of your real life surroundings.
Even when you’re on foot, there could be a chance that you’d get beaten up, robbed, or even run down by vehicles. Yikes!
5. No finesse
Perhaps I haven’t delved deep in enough. I guess there is the challenge of fighting in the gym, but as far as I’ve experienced Pokemon Go is basically just move around, Touch the Pokestops, catch Pokemons, level up – wash, rinse, repeat.
After a while, it would get repetitive and boring. You can’t even socialise with anyone in-game.
I try to walk away and I stumble
Ingress on the other hand, needs a bit more brain power as you think about which limited mods and resonators to use and the search for the right portals for linking and fielding, Ingress becomes a lot more fun when you play in a group as you try to reach the same end target together.
But regardless of what’s been said, Ingress has been around for almost four years and is starting to stagnate. Pokemon Go has a tremendous popularity since it’s release – probably because of the simplicity. As it’s still a relatively new game, it’ll probably evolve with time and but I’m sure that it’s a game to stay. At least for four years.
Obstacle races has always interested me, but I never got about to it because they are extremely challenging and I never felt like I was ready for it. Also the fact that it costs so much to participate was a deterrent.
Nevertheless, when I found that the price for the Goruck was discounted for the Aegis Nova anomaly in Padua, I decided to grab the opportunity and sign up for it. I still didn’t know if I was strong enough for it but the requirements on the sign up page says ‘Moderate to Low’ on the website, so it should be fine … right?
DeusExMachina, who participated in the Urban Ops for Vienna kindly lent me his backpack and I felt blissfully unaware. It was only on the day itself when I started packing, I realised that my luggage was extremely heavy! What on earth did I got myself into? And I’d have to carry it for at least 4 hours!
Among the required things to carry for the Urban Ops challenge was :
- 9 kg of weights (I used my hand weights)
- 2 litres of water (I used 4 1/2 litre bottles)
Which will easily make my backpack over 10 kg. Oh my.
On Friday afternoon, we took a quick look at the Vegan Festival in Eur and had a delicious lunch there and then we took the train to Padua.
It took us about 4 hours to reach there. We managed to snag a promotion from Italo and paid only 50 euro for the both of us travelling first class.
Our BnB happened to be a few minutes away from Piazza Capitaniato, where we picked up our supporter kits in the evening.
I happened to see the Stealth Ops participants doing their warm ups and met and said hello to Maurizio who was already perspiring after he’s finished with his warm up. I marvelled in the fact that he’d be doing 12 hours of challenges. I don’t know if I’d be able to do it myself.
Saturday morning, I started getting ready and here is the outfit of the day!
- Blue t shirt from Decathlon (5 euro)
- Blue buff found in Decathlon (5 euro)
- Sports bra from Only Play (10 euro)
- 3/4 sports pants from Only Play (10 euro)
- Resistance Cap by Doriscreations (Priceless)
- Aegis Nova bracelet (Which is my favourite design so far)
- Newton Fate Running shoes
I stuffed the backpack with the weights, the bottles of water, a piece of towel and some bananas to snack on. So heavy! I had to walk really slowly with the backpack on – I felt like an elephant. Seriously, what have I gotten myself into?
After having breakfast, my entourage and I walked over to the meetup point before the anomaly. There were so many people there and you’ll meet people from all across Italy and the world. Every anomaly always feels so festive and it was such a beautiful day.
Eventually, I said goodbye to Cart as he went off with his team and I started to search for mine … I headed towards Piazza Dei Signori and that’s where I met Marco (Errequadropi) and I found out that we were the only two Resistance players for Urban Ops. Oh my. But that’s okay.
There was Cadre Mickey whose role was sort of like a guide and judge of the competition. Our first task was to choose the leader for the team. Marco quickly arrowed me as the Team Leader and Roberto (HeartTremor) was TL for the Enlightenend.
Together we walked to our first location, Piazzale Porta San Giovanni with our backpacks. It wasn’t necessary for us to have our Ingress scanners open, but I wanted to do some unique visits along the way. Not easy while juggling all that weight behind you though!
When we reached our point, our first challenge was to choose someone to hold their backpack over their head while the rest of the team do lunges or elephant walks around him.
It was quite amusing to see the elephant walk but it looked easier than it was, especially with the weights, every step was precarious and I had to step hard to make sure that I didn’t topple over.
Both of our teams tried to last for as long as possible but we lost this challenge but according to Daniele who was holding up his backpack in the picture above, it was a very close match.
Then we walked to our second location – Via San Pio X. Here, the Team Leaders had to start a distance from their team. The cadre will say out a name of a glyph and Team Leaders will run to their team and write the glyph together on a piece of paper and then run back to the cadre. The first team which gets 5 glyphs correct will be the winner.
This challenge was interesting as some of the glyphs, I’ve never heard of before. I just winged whichever I could and hope for the best and you know what, Resistance won this challenge!
Cadre Mickey took me aside and gave me a code which contains pertinent information to help my faction during the anomaly. I quickly forwarded it to my dispatchers on Hangout and updated them on Zello.
After the challenge, we walked to Prato Della Valle. It was such a lovely day for a picnic here. There were loads of people sitting on the grass and just relaxing themselves. But I’m not sure if it was the heat or the fatigue from carrying all those weights but I was already starting to feel a little dizzy by this point.
For our third challenge, we had to take everything out of our backpacks and lay them on the ground next to it. All of us had to walk a distance away, and get ready in a line. When the cadre yells start, we run to our respective backpacks, put our things in and hold it over our head and yell Resistance or Enlightened.
I thought for sure we would lose this one as my zip didn’t close smoothly but to my surprise we both seemed to have finished first.
Another win for us! I breathlessly and quickly updated our dispatchers. We took a quick break and I lied down to ease my dizzy feeling.
For our final challenge, we walked to Piazza Eremitani. By this time, while I tried my best to catch up, I find myself constantly being the back of the pack. Each step was so heavy …
Nevertheless, it was such a beautiful park inside and felt so peaceful with all the flowers and greenery.
For our final challenge, while it sounds simple, trust me, it’s not. Everyone in the team will have to plank and the last man (or woman) standing will win for their faction.
I could only hold to the position for about 10 minutes. After that my arms were all wobbly and I could only crawl like a baby to move towards one of the agents who was showing me his scanner.
It was such a close match between Marco and Daniele. My goodness. They planked for close to 30 minutes. How on earth did they do that?
It seemed to go on forever. Unfortunately the Enlightened team couldn’t hold out longer possibly because he was tired from participating from the 12 hours Stealth Ops challenge earlier on. So we got this round and another code for us!
We headed back to Piazza dei Signori where each of us received our hard earned patches.
After a shower and a brief rest, back at the apartment (so nice to finally plunk away the backpack!) I headed back to join Cart and the rest of my faction members to celebrate our anomaly win. It was heartening to see so many people coming up to me curious about my experience and congratulating me.
Like Matteo and Gimmy from Stealth Ops and Matteo, Luisa and Aalyah my former team members from Vienna.
My shoulders hurt and my thighs were sore and my feet were complaining (doing the mission day on Sunday was a miserable day for me) but all in all, it has been a very interesting experience for me, and dare I say it, actually fun?
Thank you so much Roberto and the rest of the Enlightened members for being so friendly and a very sporting team and thank you Marco for being a wonderful team member and thank you Cadre Mickey!
The past six months has been amazing for me so far. With Ingress, I got to do a lot of things, I got to try at being a Team Radio in Milan, then a Team Leader in Vienna and now participated in a Goruck in Padova. Wow.
Now I GoRest.
P.s. For those of you thinking of participating for Goruck Urban Ops, while the fitness requirement is low – moderate, my advice to you is to train in some circuit training anyway. Carry a towel so that it will soften the barrier between your back and the weights and just enjoy the experience the best you can.
Last weekend Cart and I were in Vienna and it had been an unforgettable experience of my life.
We were there mainly for the Obsidian anomaly – a large scale cross-faction event for the GPS based game, Ingress. Vienna was a primary site, which means that more points were awarded to agents playing in this area.
While Cart and I have been to a couple of anomalies, like the one in Florence and Milan, this has been a different type of anomaly for me personally as it was a flash shard and it was also my first time on being a Team Leader.
(Picture by MyZap)
So far while it was challenging, it was something that I wanted to experience and I was blessed to have such an dynamic and responsible team that everything went smoother than I expected it to be. I love my team! Team Blueberry Pie!
Anyway, the day before our flight to Vienna was so busy. I had to teach in the afternoon and as soon as I reached home, Cart and I rushed off to get some last minute things ready – I wanted to collect my pins and patches and Cart wanted to give away some capsules so that he’ll have some pertinent space in his inventory. We then later had dinner in a place called Vitaminas 24 which I might blog about in the future.
In the morning, it was a flurry of activity with the packing and I don’t like leaving the house messy as I don’t want to reach home from a nice vacation to see an eyesore.
Once we were done, Cart didn’t want to risk being last to reach the airport, and decided to park the car at a place called Lunga Sosta. I don’t recommend it much as it appeared to cost 18 euro for 3 days, instead we were charged 54 euro when we picked the car up. It was such a shock when we got back from Vienna.
Eventually we met up with a group of some of the Resistenza Roma members and took a flight from Vueling, which is a low cost carrier based in Spain. While the interior reminds me a bit of Air Asia, having just recently rewatched Toy Story 3, I was extremely amused each time the flight information broadcasted. Anyhow have this in-flight song, which was very catchy.
It was a short two hour flight from Rome to Vienna, and the first thing that we did was to search for the mobile shop to pick up our SIM cards and then it was the challenge of getting to the train station to try to reach to our accomodations.
I say challenge because, German is the national language here, and a non native can get overwhelmed just looking at an innocuous sign like a metro line.
Luckily for me, the caretaker at our bed and breakfast had already explained to me on how to reach there – by taking the S7 line. While it’s slower as goes to each stops but it’s cheaper at around 2 euro.
Tip : It’s best to buy two tickets from the airport as it’s cheaper compared to buying a ticket one by one.
Cart and I stayed in an area called Praterstern and it’s an amazingly beautiful area by itself. Prater is best known for it’s giant (and probably the oldest) feris wheel in Vienna. It’s lovely just for going for a walk to and fro.
While it was Spring time, it got quite nippy when there is no sun, in the early morning and during the evening and I was regretting that I didn’t pack anything warmer than my pullover. I was too confident that the temperature would be the similar as it was in Rome. Serves me right!
Nevertheless, thank goodness that the place where we stayed at was quite comfortable as you could see from this quick video I shot.
I find it quite interesting to see all these baby buggies lined up near the front entrance.
I was amazed when I found out in the morning that that your number two doesn’t drop down directly in the hole here in the toilets in Austria.
Sidenote : When you’re watching Netflix Austria, there is season 9 for Supernatural. In Italy it only goes all the way to 8. Another thing that I find amazing is that newspapers are sold like this.
You can put your coins into the coin slot and take the newspaper from the plastic flap. People are so trusting that no one takes a paper without paying.
After we’ve left our stuff at the apartment, we headed to a place called Leopold Cafe which is near Museumsquartier for the registration point and get our packs – inside there was a medal card, a sticker, a wristband and a load out card.
After that, we went off to another area in another place for the Resistance pre-registration called East End. It’s not at all near the registration point, but I could understand why – so that we don’t risk too much in clashing with the opposite faction while we strategize and exchange items with each other.
I finally got my Team Leader pack and met a couple of the organizers there. But by this time, I was feeling extremely hungry and couldn’t concentrate on anything else. It was already evening and we haven’t even had a proper lunch.
Thankfully there was a place nearby called Fly’s American Fifties Restaurant, which was an adorable looking place. While it was a regular burger place, I was relived to hear that they were open to tweaking the dish to make it vegan, so there was something for me to eat, which was nice.
I didn’t manage to take a picture of my delicious burger as I was so hungry but it was awesome. I didn’t even manage to take a picture of the waiter, who had such a cute laugh.
After having my dinner, I met up with some of my team members, who were mostly based in Foligno, which is about 200 km away from Rome. It was the first time for me meeting them and they were friendly and were raring to go for tomorrow.
We also met up with our awesome local guide, Marlene, who decided to drop by to say hello to our team. We found out that she lived in the zone where our team was assigned to. If we needed anything, we could probably just hop over to her house.
The next day – anomaly day. I was feeling trepidation but I had to do the best I could. I was reading on the team leader chat to try to get some pertinent keys. So I got out earlier to try to farm them – Cart was just waking up and getting ready. I quickly popped by the nearby supermarket and had a quick breakfast of bananas and apple juice.
I looked at the label. The funny thing was, according to the packet, the apples were harvested in Italy?
As I walked towards the metro, I was amazed that I was going on my own. There were apps that makes travelling on public transportation a little bit easier, nevertheless, I need time to orient myself in a new country. Heck, it even took a while for me to get used to the public transportation in Rome.
This is why I cannot join reality competitions such as the Amazing Race.
It was such a cold morning. So cold. I was shivering underneath my pullover. But as long as I kept moving, I should be fine. I headed to a place called Belvedere and my goodness, it’s gorgeous and completely lush.
I wanted to get some more keys from other locations. Unfortunately, the district is quite big and takes time to reach. I had to meet up with the rest of my team members, so I decided to go directly to Marx Halle.
Everyone in my team was there and all ready – naituousn0329, LuPellox, LaMomo19, LuStargazer, frenksuperfly, Schioppaculi, Matteoz991, eternit, AalyahAtreides, Myzap and Elzap. Gosh, I was so nervous at leading but I just kept pushing on.
Look at what Marlene Niphinia did for us! What splendid muffins! She actually brought her baking equipment from out of town to make this for us!
And before you know it, it was time to move to our first portal. Like I’ve mentioned before, Vienna is a big place, and it took us slightly more than half an hour to reach there.
It was a park and we sat down on the benches and kept an eye on our portal while waiting for further instructions from the dispatcher.
I completely fell in love with my team as soon as they opened up their backpacks and took a cold one and started making sandwiches. It’s just too adorable.
Compared to the previous anomalies, this anomaly was different as it was a Flash Shard. In the simplest term, shards are like soccer balls in which you need to put it in your respective target to score points.
To move the shards, the agent will have to link the portal to the target at the specific time window.
But of course in any anomaly when there are hundreds of people fighting against hundreds of people, the game play becomes frenzied. There will be agents defending, agents shooting the portals, agents blocking … and with so many people at one area, the game can be unplayable most times.
(Picture by MyZap)
Especially when we moved over to our 3rd and 4th portal where the shard was, there was a big crowd and you can see that the portal changing from green to blue in an instant. It was easy to use 100 xmp at a time. So we just had to keep calm as best as we can and kept on going.
In being Team Leader, among all the responsibilities, my biggest priority was to keep my team together and safe. Even though it was important for us to move from one portal to another fast, I never wanted to lose any of my members at the back. So constantly kept an eye and glanced back and made sure there was always the 15 of us.
Unfortunately for me, I happened to be standing on a a bicycle lane. In Vienna, many people travel on bicycles and as soon as I looked to the front, there was a bicycle which hit me and I saw stars for several minutes. I slowly felt a swelling on my cheek. Luckily it wasn’t too serious and went down in time.
We finally reached the last portal for us to defend and defend it we did. In our excitement, we started talking loudly to each other, “DEPLOY! SHOOT! SHIELD! DON’T STOP! LINK!” And some of us ran over to stop some of the Enlightened agents from doing block links.
(Picture by Myzap)
Eventually, the time jump window ended and I was elated. It’s over finally! And I’m so proud of my team! We fought hard and I felt confident that we did great during the event. Just look at the amount of shards that the Resistance managed to put in the target.
By this time, I started to feel an aching in my thighs all the travelling, and we slowly headed back to Prater to the Niantic After party. It felt so festive in there, with all the waving of the flags and the cheering. It was something that had to be experienced.
Eventually the Acolyte came up to the stage and announced the results. I was elated to hear that the resistance had a landslide victory of 325 vs 3640! It was an exhilarating feeling.
The Resistenza Roma family went to have a celebration dinner together after that. At this time though, I was really tired and cranky and just wanted to lie down and faint.
Nevertheless, it has been such a fruitful and spectacular fight! And I’m honored to have experienced and being part of this incredible memory.
Here are a couple of pictures I took from mission day. As we had a flight back to Rome in the afternoon, I had to be a systematic tourist – no time to look at the monuments, just snapping pictures and look back on them when we’re back home.
A completely carbon zero taxi!
There are a lot of these in Vienna, I’d avoid them like I avoid those “Gladiators” in Rome.
I met agents Crox and Ramon who were so friendly. I was admiring their jackets from behind and they ambushed me for a photo!
To end this post, here is a nice video of the event done by agent MadTiXx :
Oh gosh, how I miss Vienna! I want to go back again! I want to give a shoutout to my awesome Blueberry Pie team, to our patient Local Guide, and thank all the operators, dispatchers and organizers for this beautiful, amazing, unforgettable experience.
(Picture by AalyahAtredes)
And thank you Vienna! Auf Wiedersehen and hope to see you again soon!
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Last month, Cart and I were in Milan for the abaddon anomaly. It was such an unforgettable experience and Milan has been a wonderful host, that I’d love to visit again. I’ve already been to Milan some years back, but this time was different as I got to see Milan up a little bit up close and personal.
A couple of weeks leading to the event, we’ve been preparing for the anomaly, and also getting gear for ourselves. Since Milan is up North, many of our team members were concerned about how cold it was going to get. We got a couple of thermal shirts and I got for myself a heating pad and some wool socks. I can’t believe that I’ve never discovered wool socks before this. They are so comfy in the cold weather.
Friday afternoon, after an eventful day, rushing around, getting ready and last minute packing, we just managed to take the train. Phew! We sat down and finally relaxed. Taking the train is something that I enjoy as it’s tranquil to see the scenery outside of the window as the train runs. Plus, there was complementary WiFi! Making the 4 hour journey pass by quickly and in no time at all, we’ve already reached Milan!
We quickly checked in our hotel and then headed out to pick up our abaddon packs. One thing that I’d recommend for travellers to do, is to take the multi day transport pass as it’s a lot more convenient and much more cost effective to travel this way, instead of having to pull out 1.50 euro for each each trip.
It was at the subway where I noticed this :
I think it was the first time that I see a public place being sponsored by a corporation like Nissan and Premium Mediaset. Even while walking on the footpath towards the park to pick up our packs, I noticed “MTV” printed at each start. I can understand it, but I still find it quite bizarre nevertheless.
I love how bustling the atmosphere was, where we picked up our packs – seeing so many people raring to fight the next day, meeting old faces and making new friends. It was such a nice feeling. We were supposed to meet up at a pub afterwards and get to know other resistance agents, but the queue there was too long that in the end, many of us adjourned to a restaurant not too far away. Nevertheless, we were still quite a big group that we occupied pretty much an entire room!
It was here where I also got to meet a really friendly group of fellow resistance agents from France 🙂
The next day, we got up bright and early to meet up with our team members. All those concerns about Milan being extremely cold was all for naught in the end, as it turned out to be bearable.
We took the subway and slowly walked to Parco Sempione and waited for the event to officially start.
If you were wondering why I keep having earphones during the entire event, yours truly was the communications officer for my team – a role that I was curious enough to give a try.
It’s all quite military like. Each team consists around 15 – 20 people, lead by the Team Leader who will oversee the group at the various check points. My role was being the facilitator between my team leader and the dispatch team and they are a sort of an operator, looking through the intel maps and strategizing. I had to listen to their commands and support my team leader at any changes.
It wasn’t easy for me as my team leader likes to run a lot and each time when I get an update, I had to stop to listen amidst all the cacophony and by then, my team leader would be at least 500 meters away. Hahaha.
Keep in mind, that my backpack looks like I packed a big cube inside it, and you’ll find out later why.
Anyway, there isn’t much to say about the anomaly itself, that I haven’t said before in this post. But there was something very memorable that happened.
There was a point where my team was running off to the next cluster, and Cart, who was in my team, hurt his feet and had to walk slowly. My team was already a distance away and I didn’t want to lose them so I had to make the painful decision to leave Cart. But by this time unfortunately, I couldn’t find my team members, lost in the huge crowd.
I typed in the chat, “Where are you guys?”
“We’re at the 4th cluster, Via Brera”
So I typed it in Google Maps, hoping that it’ll help me bring me there speedily. I only had 15 minutes to go before the next check point and I was starting to panic. But for some reason, Google Maps got wonky and made me run to one corner of the duomo instead of going straight forward. But the strangest part was, after that, it made me run through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II! A mall! And it was extremely crowded with Christmas coming up then. Why on earth did Google made me pass here?
I thought that it was extremely peculiar, and felt bad that I had to be rude and push some of the crowds of people in front of me. But it had to be done. I was in a huge competition.
At length, with only 5 minutes left, I managed to reach the final cluster and to my huge surprise, I saw Cart already there! I almost cried with relief, feeling awful that I’ve left him. Apparantly, he was better at reading maps, not trusting Google Maps this time round.
Anyway, at the end of the cluster, we felt really good at our efforts. I had a good feeling for this, the resistance managed to make a big area field over Milan, and I found out much later that a group of agents rented a helicopter and a boat to create good anchors.
Win or lose, I felt extremely proud of my team and I gave each of my team members something from my bag … A cake that I made earlier! And I have to say, that it was a really good cake. We all deserved it 🙂
We then slowly headed to the final location where the results were announced. And we found out that we won! I was extremely thrilled to find out and the feeling of enthralment continued for the next days. I was that happy!
All in all I had a really fantastic experience. In fact, Cart and I are considering going to the anomaly in April in Vienna! I am so looking forward to it. I’m sure it’ll be interesting to see 🙂
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